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Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

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Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby michaelzim » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:00 pm

I have read up on a number of posts here on the Blackcap Basin area and the lakes between Blackcap Mountain and Hutton to the north. I'm thinking of going to the area in late August - early September and was trying to figure out which starting point would be best between the two reservoirs...Courtright or Wishon. I have to drive 9 hours nonstop to get there from where I live, so am ready to smack out and find a quiet camp spot close by for the first night. I have been out of Lake Thomas Edison tons of times, and the sandy shoreline way up above the waterline (past years anyhow and this year for sure!) is ideal, as is isolated and comfortable after just a half hour hike from the parking area at Vermillion, heading east.

I'm a level 4 hiker/backpacker (but older than I used to be!). Usually get off the trails once at basic destination. Like quiet beautiful lakes. Base camp from there and do long day hikes in all directions, etc.
Used to backpack up north more in Kaiser, Yosemite, etc. but the darn jetways (jets flying in and out of SFO making a ridiculous amount of noise every few minutes) bugged me so much moved further south to quieter skies.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
Zimichael



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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby SSSdave » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:26 pm

amichaelzim >>>"...and was trying to figure out which starting point would be best between the two reservoirs...Courtright or Wishon."

Best for what purpose? The fastest route just via trails? Or the route with least vertical climbing? Route with the most exercise? Route hiking along an easy trail and not a tricky or difficult offtrail route? Most scenic route? The route with the best fishing along the way? Route starting from an easy to drive to trailhead?

Some of those questions could be sized up with some topographic map work. Are you able to measure approximate trail or route mileage on map? Are you able to calculate from topo vertical lines the approximate vertical up and down on routes?

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2015_Trip_C ... eshow.html
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:37 pm

If BCB was my primary goal then Wishon, if my trip also included parts of Red Mountain, then CR would be my choice.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby paul » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:29 pm

I'd start at Wishon. But then you need to decide whether you go Woodchuck creek or Rancheria.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby tim » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:57 pm

But keep an eye on the Rough Fire (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4456/), which is still spreading (albeit mostly heading west and south at the moment).
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby AaronRDavis » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:53 pm

Both approaches are similar--almost a whole day of hiking through forest. I find Maxon TH to be a little more pleasant and scenic overall, and it starts at a higher elevation than most of the Wishon trailheads.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:00 pm

I thought I heard the Wishon trailhead is closed due to the fire.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby Bluewater » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:22 pm

I like to start from the Maxson TH but go XC toward the the North Fork Kings River and follow it to the trail at the junction of Fleming Creek, then all trail to BCB.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:46 pm

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST
Sierra NF

Forest Order No. 15-15-08
Rough Fire Closure
Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.50(a) and (b), and to provide for public safety,the following acts are prohibited within the Sierra National Forest. This Order is effective from August 14,2015, until the Rough Fire is declared out.

1. Going into or being upon National Forest System lands within the Rough Fire Closure Area. The boundary of the Rough Fire Closure Area begins at the Crown Valley Trailhead at the southeast intersection of Forest Road No. I1S07 and Forest Trail No. 28E42, then continues east along the southern edge of Forest Trail No. 28E42 to its intersection with Forest Trail No. 29E30, then continues along the southern edge of Forest Trail No. 29E30 to its intersection with the Kings Canyon National Park boundary, then continues south along the Sierra National Forest and Kings Canyon National Park boundary to its intersection with the southern edge of the Little Tehipite Valley and the Middle Fork of the Kings River, then continues down-stream on the northern edge of the Middle Fork of the Kings River to its intersection with Fox Canyon, then continues due north up Fox Canyon to its intersection with Wiesman Spring and Forest Road No. 11S07, then continues north along the western edge of Forest Road No. I1S07 to its intersection with the northern edge of Rancheria Creek, then continues due east across Forest Road No. 11S07 to its intersection with the eastern edge of Forest Road No. I1S07, then continues north along the eastern edge of Forest Road No. 1S07 back to the starting point.
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby michaelzim » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:21 am

Hey everyone, thanks for the great replies and so quickly too! Appreciate it.

SSSdave...Ummm, excellent questions and I indeed could have phrased my question better, but did not want to make it too long.
In answer, sort of "all of those/these things" would be relevant...And some of them have been covered in the replies.

Best for what purpose? The fastest route just via trails? Or the route with least vertical climbing? Route with the most exercise? Route hiking along an easy trail and not a tricky or difficult offtrail route? Most scenic route? The route with the best fishing along the way? Route starting from an easy to drive to trailhead?
.....(Mmmm, not sure if this quote thing worked???)

Overall I am not concerned with fastest route, or vertical climb straight out the box, or fishing (don't fish), or most exercise (will get plenty for my 65 year old body)...so the main two of yours would be: Most scenic route, and route starting from an easy to drive to trailhead...Though that 'first night long drive collapse' thing plays into the latter. So some place to find a quiet spot (like I do at Edison) is relevant. (And was wondering about that weird noise reported out of Wishon - some big hum in the ground every 30 seconds all night???). The pics I have seen of these two reservoirs don't look like the sandy beaches high above waterline like at Edison. Steeper and big rocks, but hard to tell from a few random posted photos on Google Maps.

And yes, topos showed what look like long hikes through trees for a good day getting most of the way in...Not my favorite thing as prefer views and timberline, and also fire danger of getting stuck in a forest zone if a new fire were to start up...Like where to run to!?

Not intending to go to Red Mountain area.

Yeah, am watching the "Rough Fire" info. and smoke maps. Hopefully it will be out and no new ones by time want to go.

...And if I had another new question to add, it would which lake to head for as a 'end point base camp' in the upper Blackcap Basin? I have checked out what I can online and a number look like could be good. I prefer some timber morning sun but afternoon shade), and close to inlet or outlet creek or the lake for water easy access. And a nice view of course with few or no rowdy 'neighbours'.

THANKS VERY MUCH EVERYONE... Zimichael
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Re: Courtright or Wishon Reservoir for Blackcap Basin?

Postby michaelzim » Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:54 am

Sorry...bumping this up as am still waiting for Rough Fire and smoke conditions to "chill out" a bit before I consider going. Geeeez...delay, delay, and looking more like a September trip, but time to ask another question on this regarding general Blackcap region for those who know the area.

Taking a closer look is seems to me that the initial idea I had of going to the lakes, etc. between Blackcap Mountain and Mt. Hutton (the Bench Valley area) may be a bit less scenic compared to further south in the Blackcap Basin proper...in other words the lakes south-east of Blackcap Mountian, towards Finger Peak and Crown basin. Photos available online are much better than the imagery from Google Earth (which makes everything look like rock and scrub bush) as they show more big trees and semi-timberline at a lot of those lakes. I definitely like base camping under trees with morning sun and afternoon shade, v. out on bare rock with full exposure to sun and weather.
Any comments appreciated. And I could still go out of of Courtright or Wishon as trailhead.

P.S. Thanks to those who have posted recent "smoke reports" too, and how variable it can be at present!

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